Oppn offers help to choose Lokayukta

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah on Monday demanded that Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda should immediately convene a meeting of presiding officers and Opposition leaders of both Houses of Legislature to select a new person for the post of Karnataka Lokayukta.

The post has been vacant for a long time now and it is widely believed that the government is trying to protect “somebody” by keeping the post vacant.

If the chief minister takes the initiative, the Opposition party will cooperate with him and help him in the selection of a new person, as per the Governor’s wishes, he said, while making a submission on the issue of illegal mining in the Legislative Assembly.

“In the absence of a Lokayukta, the Lokayukta police have become very weak. Giving a clean chit to both Home Minister R Ashoka and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa stands testimony to this,” he said.

Sadananda Gowda, who replied in a lighter vain, said he was not sure whether Siddaramaiah would attend any such meetings as he did not attend a dinner meeting hosted by the chief minister a few months ago.

This apart, Siddaramaiah came down heavily on the government for allegedly dumping the Lokayukta report on illegal mining and reiterated his party’s demand for handing over the illegal mining issue to the CBI for a thorough investigation. He said all top officials, including IAS, IPS and IFS, who were named in the report should be immediately suspended.

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